Thanks for making it this far with my countdown. If you haven’t read parts one, two, or three, please check them out first and then come back here to continue the journey together. Your comments are welcome, as always.

Do What Works For YouSince I started to curate web articles on creativity and being an indie musician, I’ve discovered that the number of posts on any given artistic subject is huge. Artists don’t need to hunger for input. A significant number of these online journals provide useful and helpful information (or inspiration) Thousands (if not millions) of bloggers are ready to offer their advice and, depending on one’s particular artistic media, one could easily become overwhelmed with all the input.

I have to include my own posts in this same category. I have experiences of my own regarding the creative process. And so do you. This is one of the reasons that I try to always remember to specifically ask for your input (the so-called “comments”). I enjoy sharing my process and experience with you. This sharing is always turned into something much more when you join in to the dialogue.

It’s also why I continually ask of myself and now ask of you: Please.

Do what works for you!

Trying to find some blogger or guru or both to tell us what to do in order to create our art is missing the point. Art is an outpouring of experience into the creative melting pot. It is an expression of feeling, conscious and sub-conscious thought, of a spirit that is in us, but not yet fully brought to birth. In art, we see parts of the artist(s) that would otherwise stay forever in silence, shadow and stillness. Art is an illumination.

I have learned so much about creativity and art from teachers, fellow musicians, artists of other media, bloggers, and friends. Yet, when it comes time for me to make music — especially with improv — I do what flows through me and works for me.

This is the invitation I give you in my fourth post in this series: Grab all the inspiration you can. Work hard on your technique. Live life to the fullest that you can. And then as you create your art, do what works for you.

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4 Responses to Do What Works For You (part 4 of 5)

  1. Stan, this is all so beautifully written. I am especially drawn to these lines & think these should be a Stan Stewart quote: “In art, we see parts of the artist(s) that would otherwise stay forever in silence, shadow and stillness. Art is an illumination.”

    You are right – it is such an individual process to find & do what works for us…to figure out what allows each of us to access and express these parts of ourselves. I find that dialogue with other artists regarding the creative process gives me energy, leads me to try new things & play with my own approach, and then leaves me with a sense of support as I go off, then, on my own, and do what works for me.

    I so appreciate your sharing on this blog as you actively practice your art. I believe that this artist-to-artist dialogue strengthens the cycle of creativity. The creative cycle requires us to turn inward and also to connect with others. I find that collaboration and community really sustain me during the parts of the creative process that are solo ventures, while my spiritual practices and inner authority allow me to connect with others in ways that are authentic and whole-hearted. If that balance is not there, my creative output suffers. When I am allowing inspiration to organically move through me and move me, I see my art strengthening my life & my life strengthening my art.

    • muz4now says:

      Thanks, Susan, for your comments on my post. (Just noticed that I mixed my metaphors: “…see…silence”??)

      Community and inner authority: yes, a power-packed duo.

      Playful blessings,
      Stan

  2. […] Do What Works For You (part 4 of 5) reflections on improv and life […]

  3. […] Instead, find or create the best support group you can. For some musicians, this will be your band. But even in these situations, you need to have a broader set of supporters. Not fans. (That’s another post.) Though they will almost certainly be some of your best fans. Just that they’ll be much more than that. For many creative people, this is a spiritual community (a church or something more loosely organized). In this age of virtual connections, (though some will disagree with me here) it may be a social networking circle. For some, it will be a sizeable group of people. For others, it may just be a few best friends. It may range from an organization that meets every single Tuesday (as an example) or just gets together whenever they like. It may be friends or the people you hire to keep things rolling for your career and life. You’re creative, so create what works for you. […]

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